Most bowling teams compete to try to win. As a result, your teammates expect you to show up week after week. League bowlers tend to be hearty folks. We will bowl when it is not convenient to do so. Here's an example.
One season two of my teammates were headed for Columbus for the state basketball tournament. We had a particularly tough match that week and these two guys opted to skip a couple of games and drive back to Tiffin for bowling before returning to Columbus. Now that's what I call dedicated. Though we would have understood if they had not bowled that evening, we sure appreciated their efforts.
If memory serves me correctly (that's not a sure thing) we got drilled that night. I'm sure the fellows spent the drive back to our state capital wondering why they had bothered, but hey we are athletes. Competing is what we do.
I would suggest to you bowlers out there that there are perfectly acceptable reasons for missing a bowling night, but in case you don't know whether an excuse is, well, excusable, let me shed some light on the subject. Speaking for bowling teammates everywhere (because I can), here's a short list of situations that may come up for you and our reaction to your decision.
You are sick.
We're not talking the sniffles or a headache here. If you are really sick, stay home. We understand and will even thank you for doing so. As bowlers we are trained to slap hands each time you bowl a frame. Get a mark we extend our hand. Have an open frame? No problem. We will give you the obligatory "it's OK, get a mark next time" hand slap.
We can't help ourselves and if you are contagious then we might get what you have. No sense passing an illness back and forth. Stay home and get better. There's always next week.
You stay home to take care of a sick family member.
In most cases: Acceptable.
We have to qualify this one though. If it is your spouse that is sick, you probably ought to go bowling. They really don't want you around anyway. Sure you may want to get them a spot of tea or some chicken soup, but do that early and then head for the lanes.
If it's a child (particularly a young one) the guys get a break. Kids want their mothers when they don't feel well. If you have a sick child that says "daddy, don't go" consider yourself lucky and stay home. Again we will understand.
Now if it's the family dog, you are likely to get mixed reactions. For me personally there is nothing sadder than a sick puppy and I would understand. As for the cat remember one word. Finicky. Let him see how it feels to want attention and be ignored.
You have to go Christmas shopping.
This particular holiday falls on the same date every year. You have 365 days to shop for next Christmas and in 2012 we will even give you an extra day. There is no excuse for missing league night for this. "Git 'er done" before it's time to bowl.
The boss says you have to work late.
You have to put food on the table and we get this one. We'll wait a week for you and then you can come in and tell us how you really feel about your boss. If you like, we will say bad things about him while you are working.
You must attend your child's school function.
By all means go to the play, the game or whatever. There is no truth to the rumor that your child will not know nor care if you attend. They do know and they do care. Be there for them.
Also there is no truth to the rumor that the school intentionally schedules all activities on your bowling night. It just seems like it.
You have to stay home and finish the "honey do" list.
Hang on here buddy. This is not acceptable.
There is a reason that this list exists in the first place. Either you don't realize that some things need to be done or you don't want to do them. Regardless of which, you must lay down the law. You can't be doing these things on your bowling night. You will get to them when you can.
Wait a minute. What's that? I'll be right there honey. Maybe I should rethink this one.
You have to go to Florida for a week in the middle of January to play golf with your buddies.
Acceptable. Let's make that, perfectly acceptable.
Ergo, I will see you in a couple of weeks.
Tyson Shope has to be the lead story this week as he had quite a day at the lanes. In the Wednesday Morning League he shot his first perfect game though he "only" shot 656. It would have been perfectly acceptable for him to skip his Wednesday evening league due to excessive celebrating, but there he was firing a 735 series in the Rocket League. I'd say this was a pretty awesome daily double.
Rocket League scores in addition to Shope's 735 include Tim Sturgill 646, John Funk 624, Steve Barnes 623, Dave Kirian 576, Virginia Vanover 538, and Sue Coppus 431. In the Wednesday Morning League Mark Huffman shot 675, Ken Lofton 660, Shope 656, Dave Jumper 653, Matt Hoover 633 and Zach Gaietto 625. Sportsman League scores included Rich Yates, Jr. 696, Jim Mason 616, Paul Gosche 614, Dick Gabel 605, Kyle Musa 579, Ron Yentzer 572, Chris Johnson 571 and Mike Ditslear 570. John Sauers shot 685, Scott Plickert 638, Dave Ross 624, Jack Book 621, Mark Baxter 618, Ken Bauman 615 and Tom Tiell 609 in the Big 8 League.
Ben Hoyda rolled a 633 series to top the Imperial-Majorette League. Jeff Peer had 623, Brian Shane 581, Rhonda Fitch 564, Deb Nominee 555, and Kellie Faust 483. Robin Dickman shot 590, Deb Cleveland 539, Virginia Vanover 508, Diane Hoover 498 and Brenda Rosier 480. In the Twilight League Jeff Morrow shot 676, Steve Barnes 622, Jerry Collins 621, Tom Pukalik 610 and Ed Conrad 608. For the ladies Rhonda Fitch had 542, Robin Brownell 505 and Michelle Wagner 433.
Action at the K of C Lanes found Lela Gaietto shooting 487, Carol Burmeister 483 and Marilyn Gangluff 410 in the Lady Knights League. Steve Steinmetz, Jr. shot 654, Chris Johnson 628, Joe Lord 593, Jim Lord 576, Mark Orians 557, Smokey Ransom 552 and Justin Hoepf 551 in the Holy Name League. Senior League scores included Herb Sendelbach 602, Mike Reser 542, Kurt Smith 539, Doug Snyder 525 and Fred Reimer 514.
Al Stephenson is The A-T's bowling columnist.
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